Changing careers can feel overwhelming, especially when you feel “stuck” in your current job. However, as challenging (or even impossible) as it may seem sometimes, changing to a new, more lucrative career that encourages positive growth is within your reach! Today, we’ll go over 10 of our top tips for a successful career change.
1. What Do You Want?
It’s a simple question with endless answers and possibilities. That can seem daunting at times, but we promise it’s actually exciting! Something brand new is waiting ahead of you. So for our first step, it’s time to think about what you want out of your career and lifestyle. Comfortable financial status? Hands-on work? Career growth?
These are all questions that you should ask yourself. And take your time brainstorming these answers – there’s no right or wrong.
2. Write Down Your Long-Term Goals
Now that you have done some self-reflection, it’s time to brainstorm concrete long-term goals. These include career and lifestyle goals, such as home ownership, income, and career status. Keep in mind that these goals are long-term – years even – so it might take quite a bit of patience and determination to reach them. But you can do it!
It can also help to write down your long-term goals and place it somewhere where you can see them everyday. This will keep your goals at the forefront of your mind, guiding your daily activities.
3. Write Down Your Short-Term Goals
Next, let’s take a step back and set up some short-term goals. These are often simpler tasks that can be completed almost immediately. When it comes to changing your career, this includes starting your rainy day fund, applying for jobs, brushing up on your interview skills, or joining a training program.
Consider short-term goals your “building blocks” towards your long-term goals. You complete these goals one-by-one and you’ll check off those long-term goals before you know it.
4. Set Aside A Rainy Day/Emergency Fund
In general, it’s always a good idea to have a rainy day or emergency fund set up. However, setting aside funds is especially important when changing careers. While it’s usually safe practice to not leave your current position until you find a new job – things happen. Especially if your mental health is at stake.
So before you make the leap, be sure to set up that emergency fund. Dave Ramsey of the Dave Ramsey Show recommends putting aside $1000 for emergencies in his 7 Baby Steps towards financial freedom. This will give you some breathing room should anything unfortunate occur.
5. Set Your Job Hunt Schedule
It’s good to consider job hunting as a part-time job itself. But it’s also easy to get overwhelmed. To avoid this, it can be helpful to stick to a preset schedule. Perhaps you set aside 2 hours on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays after dinner to sit down in a quiet spot and look through job postings. This provides you with enough time to get a solid amount of applications in while also preserving your work time, free time, and time with your loved ones.
Keeping to a schedule also makes sure that you don’t procrastinate.
6. Honest Salary Self-Assessment
Talking about money can be awkward. And thinking about money can be stressful! We get it. But now is a great time to make an honest salary self-assessment. To do this, you can review your experience and check on the average salaries in your field. You can do this by visiting websites like Glassdoor, Indeed, and Salary.com. Make an honest assessment about where you experience lines up with average salaries and decide your requirements.
This can be daunting for those who might not have a lot of work experience. Don’t sweat it! There are plenty of ways to gain experience during your job search. Such as…
7. Sign Up For Training Courses
Yes! One of the best ways to gain experience before you even step into an interview is to sign up for training courses. These courses provide hands-on training that allows you to test out a chosen field, gain experience, and network all at once.
For example, the Advanced Manufacturing Training Expansion Program (or AMTEP) on the North Shore of Massachusetts provides no cost training. The training includes hundreds of hours of hands-on learning from experienced instructors. And, once our trainees graduate from the program, they are often placed into promising manufacturing careers. At the very least, they’ll have excellent experience to add to their resume – gaining them a huge advantage on the job market.
8. Brush Up On Interview Skills
Now is also a great time to brush up on your interview skills. As you probably know, interviewing is a key part of securing a new job. Be sure to review your resume carefully. You will get asked questions about the experience listed on your resume, so make sure that you have something great and informative to say about each item listed.
And remember, the interview process is also a great opportunity for you to ask questions! Be sure to write down a set of questions to ask your interviewer. This not only helps you learn more about the company, it also shows that you are actively interested and engaged.
9. Take Breaks
Transitioning into a new career isn’t easy. It can be mentally taxing, especially while working your current job at the same time. So be sure to take breaks as necessary. There’s nothing wrong with calling it a day and getting some much needed rest and relaxation. This way, your brain can recharge, getting you back on the hunt as soon as possible. Remember, nothing was ever solved by burnout.
10. Be Patient
Looking and starting a new career can be a lengthy process. Finding a new career is a time commitment, whether that’s spending a few extra hours a day applying to jobs or taking on a training course, such as AMTEP, to receive hands-on training. Remember to be patient and know that great things are ahead.